$3.2 Million Released for Marshall University Transportation Institute

From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release
BECKLEY, W.Va. – Pressing forward his continued commitment to growing West Virginia’s economy through transportation infrastructure investments, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Thursday announced the release of $3.2 million in federal funds for the Marshall University Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute (RTI), a U.S. Department of Transportation-designated University Transportation Center (UTC).

“RTI’s work list is as long as it is broad – from Prichard’s intermodal market potential, to worker training programs with the Appalachian Regional Commission and Mountwest, to technical assistance with our State’s bridge safety program; it’s research is bolstering our region’s job development opportunities,” said Rahall, the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  “RTI’s many roles, especially in producing patents for innovations, are an integral part of the broad spectrum of talents and expertise America’s university transportation centers bring to our national economic strength and competitive posture internationally.”

Funds for the grant were included in the March 4, 2011, extension of the highway authorization bill.  In 1998, Rahall sponsored, and worked to pass in Congress, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (SAFETEA-LU), which included $12 million for the construction of a University Transportation Center at Marshall University, along with partnering programs at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, Mountain State University in Beckley, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery, and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Logan. Rahall was also instrumental in helping Marshall University gain its designation as a four-year Department of Transportation-sponsored University Transportation Center, which allows it to receive federal funding.

"These are critical funds for West Virginia, and I applaud my colleague, Representative Nick Rahall, for his important work to make our state a leader in the transportation sector through the Rahall Transportation Institute," Senator Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said. "I look forward to working with Rep. Rahall going forward on transportation and economic development initiatives that will benefit our great state."

"The Rahall Transportation Institute is a recognized leader in transportation excellence and is improving the health, safety and education of West Virginia with economic development and better transportation,” said Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). “I congratulate Marshall University and the RTI for all their work in this critical area.

In southern West Virginia, the RTI has been instrumental in charting a roadmap to give the region’s economy a competitive edge.  With the help of RTI, local governments have inventoried and targeted opportunities for infrastructure investment, so that they too can prosper along with the private sector.  This approach has saved West Virginia communities time and money, and is making southern West Virginia more competitive. Since the Center was originally funded, Rahall has secured $28 million in federal funding for RTI’s education, research and development.

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